The Odyssey of Homer
by Homer
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assigns Or good or evil, whom all things obey) Now therefore, feasting at your ease reclin'd, Listen with pleasure, for myself, the while, 300 Will matter seasonable interpose. I cannot all rehearse, nor even name, (Omitting none) the conflicts and exploits Of brave Ulysses; but with what address Successful, one atchievement he perform'd At Ilium, where Achaia's sons endured Such hardship, will I speak. Inflicting wounds Dishonourable on himself, he took A tatter'd garb, and like a serving-man Enter'd the spacious city of your foes. 310 So veil'd, some mendicant he seem'd, although No Greecian less deserved that name than he. In such disguise he enter'd; all alike Misdeem'd him; me alone he not deceived Who challeng'd him, but, shrewd, he turn'd away. At length, however, when I had myself Bathed him, anointed, cloath'd him, and had sworn Not to declare him openly in Troy Till he should reach again the camp and fleet, He told me the whole purpose of the Greeks. 320 Then, (many a Trojan slaughter'd,) he regain'd The camp, and much intelligence he bore To the Achaians. Oh what wailing then Was heard of Trojan women! but my heart Exulted, alter'd now, and wishing home; For now my crime committed under force Of Venus' influence I deplored, what time She led me to a country far remote, A wand'rer from the matrimonial bed, From my own child, and from my rightful Lord 330 Alike unblemish'd both in form and mind. Her answer'd then the Hero golden-hair'd. Helen! thou hast well spoken. All is true. I have the talents fathom'd and the minds Of num'rous Heroes, and have travell'd far Yet never saw I with these eyes in man Such firmness as the calm Ulysses own'd; None such as in the wooden horse he proved, Where all our bravest sat, designing woe And bloody havoc for the sons of Troy. 340 Thou thither cam'st, impell'd, as it should seem, By some divinity inclin'd to give Victory to our foes, and with thee came Godlike Deiphobus. Thrice round about The hollow ambush, striking with thy hand Its sides thou went'st, and by his name didst call Each prince of Greece feigning his consort's voice. Myself with Diomede, and with divine Ulysses, seated in the midst, the call Heard plain and loud; we (Diomede and I) 350 With ardour burn'd either to quit the horse So summon'd, or to answer from within. But, all impatient as we were, Ulysses Controul'd the rash design; so there the sons Of the Achaians silent sat and mute, And of us all Anticlus would alone Have answer'd; but Ulysses with both hands Compressing close his lips, saved us, nor ceased Till Pallas thence conducted thee again. Then thus, discrete, Telemachus replied. 360 Atrides! Menelaus! prince renown'd! Hard was his lot whom these rare qualities Preserved not, neither had his dauntless heart Been iron, had he scaped his cruel doom. But haste, dismiss us hence, that on our beds Reposed, we may enjoy sleep, needful now. He ceas'd; then Argive Helen gave command To her attendant maidens to prepare Beds in the portico with purple rugs Resplendent, and with arras, overspread, 370 And cover'd warm with cloaks of shaggy pile. Forth went the maidens, bearing each a torch, And spread the couches; next, the herald them Led forth, and in the vestibule the son Of Nestor and the youthful Hero slept, Telemachus; but in the interior house Atrides, with the loveliest of her sex Beside him, Helen of the sweeping stole. But when Aurora, daughter of the dawn, Glow'd in the East, then from his couch arose 380 The warlike Menelaus, fresh attir'd; His faulchion o'er his shoulders slung, he bound His sandals fair to his unsullied feet, And like a God issuing, at the side Sat of Telemachus, to whom he spake. Hero! Telemachus! what urgent cause Hath hither led thee, to the land far-famed Of Lacedaemon o'er the spacious Deep? Public concern or private? Tell me true. To whom Telemachus discrete replied. 390 Atrides! Menelaus! prince renown'd! News seeking of my Sire, I have arrived. My household is devour'd, my fruitful fields Are desolated, and my palace fill'd With enemies, who while they mutual wage Proud competition for my mother's love, My flocks continual slaughter, and my beeves. For this cause, at thy knees suppliant, I beg That thou wouldst tell me his disastrous end, If either thou beheld'st with thine own eyes 400 His death, or from some wand'rer of the Greeks Hast heard it; for no common woes, alas! Was he ordain'd to share ev'n from the womb. Neither through pity or o'erstrain'd respect Flatter me, but explicit all relate Which thou hast witness'd. If my noble Sire E'er gratified thee by performance just Of word or deed at Ilium, where ye fell So num'rous slain in fight, oh recollect Now his fidelity, and tell me true! 410 Then Menelaus, sighing deep, replied. Gods! their ambition is to reach the bed Of a brave man, however base themselves. But as it chances, when the hart hath lay'd Her fawns new-yean'd and sucklings yet, to rest Within some dreadful lion's gloomy den, She roams the hills, and in the grassy vales Feeds heedless, till the lion, to his lair Return'd, destroys her and her little-ones, So them thy Sire shall terribly destroy. 420 Jove, Pallas and Apollo! oh that such As erst in well-built Lesbos, where he strove With Philomelides, and threw him flat, A sight at which Achaia's sons rejoic'd, Such, now, Ulysses might assail them all! Short life and bitter nuptials should be theirs. But thy enquiries neither indirect Will I evade, nor give thee false reply, But all that from the Antient of the Deep[14] I have receiv'd will utter, hiding nought. 430 As yet the Gods on AEgypt's shore detained Me wishing home, angry at my neglect To heap their altars with slain hecatombs. For they exacted from us evermore Strict rev'rence of their laws. There is an isle Amid the billowy flood, Pharos by name, In front of AEgypt, distant from her shore Far as a vessel by a sprightly gale Impell'd, may push her voyage in a day. The haven there is good, and many a ship 440 Finds wat'ring there from riv'lets on the coast. There me the Gods kept twenty days, no breeze Propitious granting, that might sweep the waves, And usher to her home the flying bark. And now had our provision, all consumed, Left us exhausted, but a certain nymph Pitying saved me. Daughter fair was she Of mighty Proteus, Antient of the Deep, Idothea named; her most my sorrows moved; She found me from my followers all apart 450 Wand'ring (for they around the isle, with hooks The fishes snaring roamed, by famine urged) And standing at my side, me thus bespake. Stranger! thou must be ideot born, or weak At least in intellect, or thy delight Is in distress and mis'ry, who delay'st To leave this island, and no egress hence Canst find, although thy famish'd people faint. So spake the Goddess, and I thus replied. I tell thee, whosoever of the Pow'rs 460 Divine thou art, that I am prison'd here Not willingly, but must have, doubtless, sinn'd Against the deathless tenants of the skies. Yet say (for the Immortals all things know) What God detains me, and my course forbids Hence to my country o'er the fishy Deep? So I; to whom the Goddess all-divine. Stranger! I will inform thee true. A seer Oracular, the Antient of the Deep, Immortal Proteus, the AEgyptian, haunts 470 These shores, familiar with all Ocean's gulphs, And Neptune's subject. He is by report My father; him if thou art able once To seize and bind, he will prescribe the course With all its measured distances, by which Thou shalt regain secure thy native shores. He will, moreover, at thy suit declare, Thou favour'd of the skies! what good, what ill Hath in thine house befall'n, while absent thou Thy voyage difficult perform'st and long. 480 She spake, and I replied—Thyself reveal By what effectual bands I may secure The antient Deity marine, lest, warn'd Of my approach, he shun me and escape. Hard task for mortal hands to bind a God! Then thus Idothea answer'd all-divine. I will inform thee true. Soon as the sun Hath climb'd the middle heav'ns, the prophet old, Emerging while the breezy zephyr blows, And cover'd with the scum of ocean, seeks 490 His spacious cove, in which outstretch'd he lies. The phocae[15] also, rising from the waves, Offspring of beauteous Halosydna, sleep Around him, num'rous, and the fishy scent Exhaling rank of the unfathom'd flood. Thither conducting thee at peep of day I will dispose thee in some safe recess, But from among thy followers thou shalt chuse The bravest three in all thy gallant fleet. And now the artifices understand 500 Of the old prophet of the sea. The sum Of all his phocae numb'ring duly first, He will pass through them, and when all by fives He counted hath, will in the midst repose Content, as sleeps the shepherd with his flock. When ye shall see him stretch'd, then call to mind That moment all your prowess, and prevent, Howe'er he strive impatient, his escape. All changes trying, he will take the form Of ev'ry reptile on the earth, will seem 510 A river now, and now devouring fire; But hold him ye, and grasp him still the more. And when himself shall question you, restored To his own form in which ye found him first Reposing, then from farther force abstain; Then, Hero! loose the Antient of the Deep, And ask him, of the Gods who checks thy course Hence to thy country o'er the fishy flood. So saying, she plunged into the billowy waste. I then, in various musings lost, my ships 520 Along the sea-beach station'd sought again, And when I reach'd my galley on the shore We supp'd, and sacred night falling from heav'n, Slept all extended on the ocean-side. But when Aurora, daughter of the dawn, Look'd rosy forth, pensive beside the shore I walk'd of Ocean, frequent to the Gods Praying devout, then chose the fittest three For bold assault, and worthiest of my trust. Meantime the Goddess from the bosom wide 530 Of Ocean rising, brought us thence four skins Of phocae, and all newly stript, a snare Contriving subtle to deceive her Sire. Four cradles in the sand she scoop'd, then sat Expecting us, who in due time approach'd; She lodg'd us side by side, and over each A raw skin cast. Horrible to ourselves Proved that disguise whom the pernicious scent Of the sea-nourish'd phocae sore annoy'd; For who would lay him down at a whale's side? 540 But she a potent remedy devised Herself to save us, who the nostrils sooth'd Of each with pure ambrosia thither brought Odorous, which the fishy scent subdued. All morning, patient watchers, there we lay; And now the num'rous phocae from the Deep Emerging, slept along the shore, and he At noon came also, and perceiving there His fatted monsters, through the flock his course Took regular, and summ'd them; with the first 550 He number'd us, suspicion none of fraud Conceiving, then couch'd also. We, at once, Loud-shouting flew on him, and in our arms Constrain'd him fast; nor the sea-prophet old Call'd not incontinent his shifts to mind. First he became a long-maned lion grim, Then dragon, panther then, a savage boar, A limpid stream, and an o'ershadowing tree. We persevering held him, till at length The Antient of the Deep, skill'd as he is 560 In wiles, yet weary, question'd me, and said. Oh Atreus' son, by what confed'rate God Instructed liest thou in wait for me, To seize and hold me? what is thy desire? So He; to whom thus answer I return'd. Old Seer! thou know'st; why, fraudful, should'st thou ask? It is because I have been prison'd long Within this isle, whence I have sought in vain Deliv'rance, till my wonted courage fails. Yet say (for the Immortals all things know) 570 What God detains me, and my course forbids Hence to my country o'er the fishy Deep? So I; when thus the old one of the waves. But thy plain duty[16] was to have adored Jove, first, in sacrifice, and all the Gods, That then embarking, by propitious gales Impell'd, thou might'st have reach'd thy country soon. For thou art doom'd ne'er to behold again Thy friends, thy palace, or thy native shores, Till thou have seen once more the hallow'd flood 580 Of AEgypt, and with hecatombs adored Devout, the deathless tenants of the skies. Then will they speed thee whither thou desir'st. He ended, and my heart broke at his words, Which bade me pass again the gloomy gulph To AEgypt; tedious course, and hard to atchieve! Yet, though in sorrow whelm'd, I thus replied. Old prophet! I will all thy will perform. But tell me, and the truth simply reveal; Have the Achaians with their ships arrived 590 All safe, whom Nestor left and I, at Troy? Or of the Chiefs have any in their barks, Or in their followers' arms found a dire death Unlook'd for, since that city's siege we closed? I spake, when answer thus the God return'd. Atrides, why these questions? Need is none That thou should'st all my secrets learn, which once Reveal'd, thou would'st not long dry-eyed remain. Of those no few have died, and many live; But leaders, two alone, in their return 600 Have died (thou also hast had war to wage) And one, still living, roams the boundless sea. Ajax,[17] surrounded by his galleys, died. Him Neptune, first, against the bulky rocks The Gyrae drove, but saved him from the Deep; Nor had he perish'd, hated as he was By Pallas, but for his own impious boast In frenzy utter'd that he would escape The billows, even in the Gods' despight. Neptune that speech vain-glorious hearing, grasp'd 610 His trident, and the huge Gyraean rock Smiting indignant, dash'd it half away; Part stood, and part, on which the boaster sat When, first, the brainsick fury seiz'd him, fell, Bearing him with it down into the gulphs Of Ocean, where he drank the brine, and died. But thy own brother in his barks escaped That fate, by Juno saved; yet when, at length, He should have gain'd Malea's craggy shore, Then, by a sudden tempest caught, he flew 620 With many a groan far o'er the fishy Deep To the land's utmost point, where once his home Thyestes had, but where Thyestes' son Dwelt then, AEgisthus. Easy lay his course And open thence, and, as it pleased the Gods, The shifted wind soon bore them to their home. He, high in exultation, trod the shore That gave him birth, kiss'd it, and, at the sight, The welcome sight of Greece, shed many a tear. Yet not unseen he landed; for a spy, 630 One whom the shrewd AEgisthus had seduced By promise of two golden talents, mark'd His coming from a rock where he had watch'd The year complete, lest, passing unperceived, The King should reassert his right in arms. Swift flew the spy with tidings to this Lord, And He, incontinent, this project framed Insidious. Twenty men, the boldest hearts Of all the people, from the rest he chose, Whom he in ambush placed, and others charged 640 Diligent to prepare the festal board. With horses, then, and chariots forth he drove Full-fraught with mischief, and conducting home The unsuspicious King, amid the feast Slew him, as at his crib men slay an ox. Nor of thy brother's train, nor of his train Who slew thy brother, one survived, but all, Welt'ring in blood together, there expired. He ended, and his words beat on my heart As they would break it. On the sands I sat 650 Weeping, nor life nor light desiring more. But when I had in dust roll'd me, and wept To full satiety, mine ear again The oracle of Ocean thus address'd. Sit not, O son of Atreus! weeping here Longer, for remedy can none be found; But quick arising, trial make, how best Thou shalt, and soonest, reach thy home again. For either him still living thou shalt find, Or ere thou come, Orestes shall have slain 660 The traytor, and thine eyes shall see his tomb. He ceas'd, and I, afflicted as I was, Yet felt my spirit at that word refresh'd, And in wing'd accents answer thus return'd. Of these I am inform'd; but name the third Who, dead or living, on the boundless Deep Is still detain'd; I dread, yet wish to hear. So I; to whom thus Proteus in return. Laertes' son, the Lord of Ithaca— Him in an island weeping I beheld, 670 Guest of the nymph Calypso, by constraint Her guest, and from his native land withheld By sad necessity; for ships well-oar'd, Or faithful followers hath he none, whose aid Might speed him safely o'er the spacious flood. But, Menelaus dear to Jove! thy fate Ordains not thee the stroke of death to meet In steed-fam'd Argos, but far hence the Gods Will send thee to Elysium, and the earth's Extremest bounds; (there Rhadamanthus dwells, 680 The golden-hair'd, and there the human kind Enjoy the easiest life; no snow is there, No biting winter, and no drenching show'r, But zephyr always gently from the sea Breathes on them to refresh the happy race) For that fair Helen is by nuptial bands Thy own, and thou art son-in-law of Jove. So saying, he plunged into the billowy waste, I then, with my brave comrades to the fleet Return'd, deep-musing as I went, and sad. 690 No sooner had I reach'd my ship beside The ocean, and we all had supp'd, than night From heav'n fell on us, and, at ease reposed Along the margin of the sea, we slept. But when Aurora, daughter of the dawn, Look'd rosy forth, drawing our galleys down Into the sacred Deep, we rear'd again The mast, unfurl'd the sail, and to our seats On board returning, thresh'd the foamy flood. Once more, at length, within the hallow'd stream 700 Of AEgypt mooring, on the shore I slew Whole hecatombs, and (the displeasure thus Of the immortal Gods appeased) I reared To Agamemnon's never-dying fame A tomb, and finishing it, sail'd again With such a gale from heaven vouchsafed, as sent My ships swift-scudding to the shores of Greece. But come—eleven days wait here, or twelve A guest with me, when I will send thee hence Nobly, and honour'd with illustrious gifts, 710 With polish'd chariot, with three princely steeds, And with a gorgeous cup, that to the Gods Libation pouring ever while thou liv'st From that same cup, thou may'st remember me. Him, prudent, then answer'd Telemachus. Atrides, seek not to detain me here Long time; for though contented I could sit The year beside thee, nor regret my home Or parents, (so delightful thy discourse Sounds in my ear) yet, even now, I know, 720 That my attendants to the Pylian shore Wish my return, whom thou thus long detain'st. What boon soe'er thou giv'st me, be it such As I may treasur'd keep; but horses none Take I to Ithaca; them rather far Keep thou, for thy own glory. Thou art Lord Of an extended plain, where copious springs The lotus, herbage of all savours, wheat, Pulse, and white barley of luxuriant growth. But Ithaca no level champaign owns, 730 A nursery of goats, and yet a land Fairer than even pastures to the eye. No sea-encircled isle of ours affords Smooth course commodious and expanse of meads, But my own Ithaca transcends them all! He said; the Hero Menelaus smiled, And stroaking tenderly his cheek, replied. Dear youth! thy speech proclaims thy noble blood. I can with ease supply thee from within With what shall suit thee better, and the gift 740 Of all that I possess which most excels In beauty, and the noblest shall be thine. I give thee, wrought elaborate, a cup Itself all silver, bound with lip of gold. It is the work of Vulcan, which to me The Hero Phaedimus imparted, King Of the Sidonians, when on my return His house received me. That shall be thy own. Thus they conferr'd; and now the busy train Of menials culinary,[18] at the gate 750 Enter'd of Menelaus, Chief renown'd; They brought him sheep, with heart-ennobling wine, While all their wives, their brows with frontlets bound, Came charg'd with bread. Thus busy they prepared A banquet in the mansion of the King. Meantime, before Ulysses' palace gate The suitors sported with the quoit and spear On the smooth area, customary scene Of all their strife and angry clamour loud. There sat Antinoues, and the godlike youth 760 Eurymachus, superior to the rest And Chiefs among them, to whom Phronius' son Noemon drawing nigh, with anxious mien Question'd Antinoues, and thus began. Know we, Antinoues! or know we not, When to expect Telemachus at home Again from Pylus? in my ship he went, Which now I need, that I may cross the sea To Elis, on whose spacious plain I feed Twelve mares, each suckling a mule-colt as yet 770 Unbroken, but of which I purpose one To ferry thence, and break him into use. He spake, whom they astonish'd heard; for him They deem'd not to Neleian Pylus gone, But haply into his own fields, his flocks To visit, or the steward of his swine. Then thus, Eupithes' son, Antinoues, spake. Say true. When sail'd he forth? of all our youth, Whom chose he for his followers? his own train Of slaves and hirelings? hath he pow'r to effect 780 This also? Tell me too, for I would learn— Took he perforce thy sable bark away, Or gav'st it to him at his first demand? To whom Noemon, Phronius' son, replied. I gave it voluntary; what could'st thou, Should such a prince petition for thy bark In such distress? Hard were it to refuse. Brave youths (our bravest youths except yourselves) Attend him forth; and with them I observed Mentor embarking, ruler o'er them all, 790 Or, if not him, a God; for such he seem'd. But this much moves my wonder. Yester-morn I saw, at day-break, noble Mentor here, Whom shipp'd for Pylus I had seen before. He ceas'd; and to his father's house return'd; They, hearing, sat aghast. Their games meantime Finish'd, the suitors on their seats reposed, To whom Eupithes' son, Antinoues, next, Much troubled spake; a black storm overcharged His bosom, and his vivid eyes flash'd fire. 800 Ye Gods, a proud exploit is here atchieved, This voyage of Telemachus, by us Pronounced impracticable; yet the boy In downright opposition to us all, Hath headlong launched a ship, and, with a band Selected from our bravest youth, is gone. He soon will prove more mischievous, whose pow'r Jove wither, ere we suffer its effects! But give me a swift bark with twenty rowers, That, watching his return within the streights 810 Of rocky Samos and of Ithaca, I may surprise him; so shall he have sail'd To seek his Sire, fatally for himself. He ceased and loud applause heard in reply, With warm encouragement. Then, rising all, Into Ulysses' house at once they throng'd. Nor was Penelope left uninformed Long time of their clandestine plottings deep, For herald Medon told her all, whose ear Their councils caught while in the outer-court 820 He stood, and they that project framed within. Swift to Penelope the tale he bore, Who as he pass'd the gate, him thus address'd. For what cause, herald! have the suitors sent Thee foremost? Wou'd they that my maidens lay Their tasks aside, and dress the board for them? Here end their wooing! may they hence depart Never, and may the banquet now prepared, This banquet prove your last![19] who in such throngs Here meeting, waste the patrimony fair 830 Of brave Telemachus; ye never, sure, When children, heard how gracious and how good Ulysses dwelt among your parents, none Of all his people, or in word or deed Injuring, as great princes oft are wont, By favour influenc'd now, now by disgust. He no man wrong'd at any time; but plain Your wicked purpose in your deeds appears, Who sense have none of benefits conferr'd. Then Medon answer'd thus, prudent, return'd. 840 Oh Queen! may the Gods grant this prove the worst. But greater far and heavier ills than this The suitors plan, whose counsels Jove confound! Their base desire and purpose are to slay Telemachus on his return; for he, To gather tidings of his Sire is gone To Pylus, or to Sparta's land divine. He said; and where she stood, her trembling knees Fail'd under her, and all her spirits went. Speechless she long remain'd, tears filled her eyes, 850 And inarticulate in its passage died Her utt'rance, till at last with pain she spake. Herald! why went my son? he hath no need On board swift ships to ride, which are to man His steeds that bear him over seas remote. Went he, that, with himself, his very name Might perish from among mankind for ever? Then answer, thus, Medon the wise return'd. I know not whether him some God impell'd Or his own heart to Pylus, there to hear 860 News of his Sire's return, or by what fate At least he died, if he return no more. He said, and traversing Ulysses' courts, Departed; she with heart consuming woe O'erwhelm'd, no longer could endure to take Repose on any of her num'rous seats, But on the threshold of her chamber-door Lamenting sat, while all her female train Around her moan'd, the antient and the young, Whom, sobbing, thus Penelope bespake. 870 Hear me, ye maidens! for of women born Coeval with me, none hath e'er received Such plenteous sorrow from the Gods as I, Who first my noble husband lost, endued With courage lion-like, of all the Greeks The Chief with ev'ry virtue most adorn'd, A prince all-excellent, whose glorious praise Through Hellas and all Argos flew diffused. And now, my darling son,—him storms have snatch'd Far hence inglorious, and I knew it not. 880 Ah treach'rous servants! conscious as ye were Of his design, not one of you the thought Conceived to wake me when he went on board. For had but the report once reach'd my ear, He either had not gone (how much soe'er He wish'd to leave me) or had left me dead. But haste ye,—bid my antient servant come, Dolion, whom (when I left my father's house He gave me, and whose office is to attend My num'rous garden-plants) that he may seek 890 At once Laertes, and may tell him all, Who may contrive some remedy, perchance, Or fit expedient, and shall come abroad To weep before the men who wish to slay Even the prince, godlike Ulysses' son. Then thus the gentle Euryclea spake, Nurse of Telemachus. Alas! my Queen! Slay me, or spare, deal with me as thou wilt, I will confess the truth. I knew it all. I gave him all that he required from me. 900 Both wine and bread, and, at his bidding, swore To tell thee nought in twelve whole days to come, Or till, enquiry made, thou should'st thyself Learn his departure, lest thou should'st impair Thy lovely features with excess of grief. But lave thyself, and, fresh attired, ascend To thy own chamber, there, with all thy train, To worship Pallas, who shall save, thenceforth, Thy son from death, what ills soe'er he meet. Add not fresh sorrows to the present woes 910 Of the old King, for I believe not yet Arcesias' race entirely by the Gods Renounced, but trust that there shall still be found Among them, who shall dwell in royal state, And reap the fruits of fertile fields remote. So saying, she hush'd her sorrow, and her eyes No longer stream'd. Then, bathed and fresh attired, Penelope ascended with her train The upper palace, and a basket stored With hallow'd cakes off'ring, to Pallas pray'd. 920 Hear matchless daughter of Jove AEgis-arm'd! If ever wise Ulysses offer'd here The thighs of fatted kine or sheep to thee, Now mindful of his piety, preserve His darling son, and frustrate with a frown The cruelty of these imperious guests! She said, and wept aloud, whose earnest suit Pallas received. And now the spacious hall And gloomy passages with tumult rang And clamour of that throng, when thus, a youth, 930 Insolent as his fellows, dared to speak. Much woo'd and long, the Queen at length prepares To chuse another mate,[20] and nought suspects The bloody death to which her son is doom'd. So he; but they, meantime, themselves remain'd Untaught, what course the dread concern elsewhere Had taken, whom Antinoues thus address'd. Sirs! one and all, I counsel you, beware Of such bold boasting unadvised; lest one O'erhearing you, report your words within. 940 No—rather thus, in silence, let us move To an exploit so pleasant to us all. He said, and twenty chose, the bravest there, With whom he sought the galley on the shore, Which drawing down into the deep, they placed The mast and sails on board, and, sitting, next, Each oar in order to its proper groove, Unfurl'd and spread their canvas to the gale. Their bold attendants, then, brought them their arms, And soon as in deep water they had moor'd 950 The ship, themselves embarking, supp'd on board, And watch'd impatient for the dusk of eve. But when Penelope, the palace stairs Remounting, had her upper chamber reach'd, There, unrefresh'd with either food or wine, She lay'd her down, her noble son the theme Of all her thoughts, whether he should escape His haughty foes, or perish by their hands. Num'rous as are the lion's thoughts, who sees, Not without fear, a multitude with toils 960 Encircling him around, such num'rous thoughts Her bosom occupied, till sleep at length Invading her, she sank in soft repose. Then Pallas, teeming with a new design, Set forth an airy phantom in the form Of fair Iphthima, daughter of the brave Icarius, and Eumelus' wedded wife In Pherae. Shaped like her the dream she sent Into the mansion of the godlike Chief Ulysses, with kind purpose to abate 970 The sighs and tears of sad Penelope. Ent'ring the chamber-portal, where the bolt Secured it, at her head the image stood, And thus, in terms compassionate, began. Sleep'st thou, distress'd Penelope? The Gods, Happy in everlasting rest themselves, Forbid thy sorrows. Thou shalt yet behold Thy son again, who hath by no offence Incurr'd at any time the wrath of heav'n. To whom, sweet-slumb'ring in the shadowy gate 980 By which dreams pass, Penelope replied. What cause, my sister, brings thee, who art seen Unfrequent here, for that thou dwell'st remote? And thou enjoin'st me a cessation too From sorrows num'rous, and which, fretting, wear My heart continual; first, my spouse I lost With courage lion-like endow'd, a prince All-excellent, whose never-dying praise Through Hellas and all Argos flew diffused; And now my only son, new to the toils 990 And hazards of the sea, nor less untaught The arts of traffic, in a ship is gone Far hence, for whose dear cause I sorrow more Than for his Sire himself, and even shake With terror, lest he perish by their hands To whom he goes, or in the stormy Deep; For num'rous are his foes, and all intent To slay him, ere he reach his home again. Then answer thus the shadowy form return'd. Take courage; suffer not excessive dread 1000 To overwhelm thee, such a guide he hath And guardian, one whom many wish their friend, And ever at their side, knowing her pow'r, Minerva; she compassionates thy griefs, And I am here her harbinger, who speak As thou hast heard by her own kind command. Then thus Penelope the wise replied. Oh! if thou art a goddess, and hast heard A Goddess' voice, rehearse to me the lot Of that unhappy one, if yet he live 1010 Spectator of the cheerful beams of day, Or if, already dead, he dwell below. Whom answer'd thus the fleeting shadow vain. I will not now inform thee if thy Lord Live, or live not. Vain words are best unspoken. So saying, her egress swift beside the bolt She made, and melted into air. Upsprang From sleep Icarius' daughter, and her heart Felt heal'd within her, by that dream distinct Visited in the noiseless night serene. 1020 Meantime the suitors urged their wat'ry way, To instant death devoting in their hearts Telemachus. There is a rocky isle In the mid sea, Samos the rude between And Ithaca, not large, named Asteris. It hath commodious havens, into which A passage clear opens on either side, And there the ambush'd Greeks his coming watch'd.


[9] Hesychius tells us, that the Greecians ornamented with much attention the front wall of their courts for the admiration of passengers.

[10] Ophthalmon te bolai.

[11] Antilochus was his brother.

[12] The son of Aurora, who slew Antilochus, was Memnon.

[13] Because Pisistratus was born after Antilochus had sailed to Troy.

[14] Proteus

[15] Seals, or sea-calves.

[16] From the abruptness of this beginning, Virgil, probably, who has copied the story, took the hint of his admired exordium.

Nam quis te, juvenum confidentissime, nostras. Egit adire domos.

[17] Son of Oileus.

[18] Daitymon—generally signifies the founder of a feast; but we are taught by Eustathius to understand by it, in this place, the persons employed in preparing it.

[19] This transition from the third to the second person belongs to the original, and is considered as a fine stroke of art in the poet, who represents Penelope in the warmth of her resentment, forgetting where she is, and addressing the suitors as if present.

[20] Mistaking, perhaps, the sound of her voice, and imagining that she sang.—Vide Barnes in loco.



Mercury bears to Calypso a command from Jupiter that she dismiss Ulysses. She, after some remonstrances, promises obedience, and furnishes him with instruments and materials, with which he constructs a raft. He quits Calypso's island; is persecuted by Neptune with dreadful tempests, but by the assistance of a sea nymph, after having lost his raft, is enabled to swim to Phaeacia.

Aurora from beside her glorious mate Tithonus now arose, light to dispense Through earth and heav'n, when the assembled Gods In council sat, o'er whom high-thund'ring Jove Presided, mightiest of the Pow'rs above. Amid them, Pallas on the num'rous woes Descanted of Ulysses, whom she saw With grief, still prison'd in Calypso's isle. Jove, Father, hear me, and ye other Pow'rs Who live for ever, hear! Be never King 10 Henceforth to gracious acts inclined, humane, Or righteous, but let ev'ry sceptred hand Rule merciless, and deal in wrong alone, Since none of all his people whom he sway'd With such paternal gentleness and love Remembers, now, divine Ulysses more. He, in yon distant isle a suff'rer lies Of hopeless sorrow, through constraint the guest Still of the nymph Calypso, without means Or pow'r to reach his native shores again, 20 Alike of gallant barks and friends depriv'd, Who might conduct him o'er the spacious Deep. Nor is this all, but enemies combine To slay his son ere yet he can return From Pylus, whither he hath gone to learn There, or in Sparta, tidings of his Sire. To whom the cloud-assembler God replied. What word hath pass'd thy lips, daughter belov'd? Hast thou not purpos'd that arriving soon At home, Ulysses shall destroy his foes? 30 Guide thou, Telemachus, (for well thou canst) That he may reach secure his native coast, And that the suitors baffled may return. He ceas'd, and thus to Hermes spake, his son. Hermes! (for thou art herald of our will At all times) to yon bright-hair'd nymph convey Our fix'd resolve, that brave Ulysses thence Depart, uncompanied by God or man. Borne on a corded raft, and suff'ring woe Extreme, he on the twentieth day shall reach, 40 Not sooner, Scherie the deep-soil'd, possess'd By the Phaeacians, kinsmen of the Gods. They, as a God shall reverence the Chief, And in a bark of theirs shall send him thence To his own home, much treasure, brass and gold And raiment giving him, to an amount Surpassing all that, had he safe return'd, He should by lot have shared of Ilium's spoil. Thus Fate appoints Ulysses to regain His country, his own palace, and his friends. 50 He ended, nor the Argicide refused, Messenger of the skies; his sandals fair, Ambrosial, golden, to his feet he bound, Which o'er the moist wave, rapid as the wind, Bear him, and o'er th' illimitable earth, Then took his rod with which, at will, all eyes He closes soft, or opes them wide again. So arm'd, forth flew the valiant Argicide. Alighting on Pieria, down he stoop'd To Ocean, and the billows lightly skimm'd 60 In form a sew-mew, such as in the bays Tremendous of the barren Deep her food Seeking, dips oft in brine her ample wing. In such disguise o'er many a wave he rode, But reaching, now, that isle remote, forsook The azure Deep, and at the spacious grot, Where dwelt the amber-tressed nymph arrived, Found her within. A fire on all the hearth Blazed sprightly, and, afar-diffused, the scent Of smooth-split cedar and of cypress-wood 70 Odorous, burning, cheer'd the happy isle. She, busied at the loom, and plying fast Her golden shuttle, with melodious voice Sat chaunting there; a grove on either side, Alder and poplar, and the redolent branch Wide-spread of Cypress, skirted dark the cave. There many a bird of broadest pinion built Secure her nest, the owl, the kite, and daw Long-tongued, frequenter of the sandy shores. A garden-vine luxuriant on all sides 80 Mantled the spacious cavern, cluster-hung Profuse; four fountains of serenest lymph Their sinuous course pursuing side by side, Stray'd all around, and ev'ry where appear'd Meadows of softest verdure, purpled o'er With violets; it was a scene to fill A God from heav'n with wonder and delight. Hermes, Heav'n's messenger, admiring stood That sight, and having all survey'd, at length Enter'd the grotto; nor the lovely nymph 90 Him knew not soon as seen, for not unknown Each to the other the Immortals are, How far soever sep'rate their abodes. Yet found he not within the mighty Chief Ulysses; he sat weeping on the shore, Forlorn, for there his custom was with groans Of sad regret t' afflict his breaking heart. Looking continual o'er the barren Deep. Then thus Calypso, nymph divine, the God Question'd, from her resplendent throne august. 100 Hermes! possessor of the potent rod! Who, though by me much reverenc'd and belov'd, So seldom com'st, say, wherefore comest now? Speak thy desire; I grant it, if thou ask Things possible, and possible to me. Stay not, but ent'ring farther, at my board Due rites of hospitality receive. So saying, the Goddess with ambrosial food Her table cover'd, and with rosy juice Nectareous charged the cup. Then ate and drank 110 The argicide and herald of the skies, And in his soul with that repast divine Refresh'd, his message to the nymph declared. Questionest thou, O Goddess, me a God? I tell thee truth, since such is thy demand. Not willing, but by Jove constrain'd, I come. For who would, voluntary, such a breadth Enormous measure of the salt expanse, Where city none is seen in which the Gods Are served with chosen hecatombs and pray'r? 120 But no divinity may the designs Elude, or controvert, of Jove supreme. He saith, that here thou hold'st the most distrest Of all those warriors who nine years assail'd The city of Priam, and, (that city sack'd) Departed in the tenth; but, going thence, Offended Pallas, who with adverse winds Opposed their voyage, and with boist'rous waves. Then perish'd all his gallant friends, but him Billows and storms drove hither; Jove commands 130 That thou dismiss him hence without delay, For fate ordains him not to perish here From all his friends remote, but he is doom'd To see them yet again, and to arrive At his own palace in his native land. He said; divine Calypso at the sound Shudder'd, and in wing'd accents thus replied. Ye are unjust, ye Gods, and envious past All others, grudging if a Goddess take A mortal man openly to her arms! 140 So, when the rosy-finger'd Morning chose Orion, though ye live yourselves at ease, Yet ye all envied her, until the chaste Diana from her golden throne dispatch'd A silent shaft, which slew him in Ortygia. So, when the golden-tressed Ceres, urged By passion, took Iaesion to her arms In a thrice-labour'd fallow, not untaught Was Jove that secret long, and, hearing it, Indignant, slew him with his candent bolt. 150 So also, O ye Gods, ye envy me The mortal man, my comfort. Him I saved Myself, while solitary on his keel He rode, for with his sulph'rous arrow Jove Had cleft his bark amid the sable Deep. Then perish'd all his gallant friends, but him Billows and storms drove hither, whom I lov'd Sincere, and fondly destin'd to a life Immortal, unobnoxious to decay. But since no Deity may the designs 160 Elude or controvert of Jove supreme, Hence with him o'er the barren Deep, if such The Sov'reign's will, and such his stern command. But undismiss'd he goes by me, who ships Myself well-oar'd and mariners have none To send with him athwart the spacious flood; Yet freely, readily, my best advice I will afford him, that, escaping all Danger, he may regain his native shore. Then Hermes thus, the messenger of heav'n. 170 Act as thou say'st, fearing the frown of Jove, Lest, if provoked, he spare not even thee. So saying, the dauntless Argicide withdrew, And she (Jove's mandate heard) all-graceful went, Seeking the brave Ulysses; on the shore She found him seated; tears succeeding tears Delug'd his eyes, while, hopeless of return, Life's precious hours to eating cares he gave Continual, with the nymph now charm'd no more. Yet, cold as she was am'rous, still he pass'd 180 His nights beside her in the hollow grot, Constrain'd, and day by day the rocks among Which lined the shore heart-broken sat, and oft While wistfully he eyed the barren Deep, Wept, groaned, desponded, sigh'd, and wept again. Then, drawing near, thus spake the nymph divine. Unhappy! weep not here, nor life consume In anguish; go; thou hast my glad consent. Arise to labour; hewing down the trunks Of lofty trees, fashion them with the ax 190 To a broad raft, which closely floor'd above, Shall hence convey thee o'er the gloomy Deep. Bread, water, and the red grape's cheering juice Myself will put on board, which shall preserve Thy life from famine; I will also give New raiment for thy limbs, and will dispatch Winds after thee to waft thee home unharm'd, If such the pleasure of the Gods who dwell In yonder boundless heav'n, superior far To me, in knowledge and in skill to judge. 200 She ceas'd; but horror at that sound the heart Chill'd of Ulysses, and in accents wing'd With wonder, thus the noble Chief replied. Ah! other thoughts than of my safe return Employ thee, Goddess, now, who bid'st me pass The perilous gulph of Ocean on a raft, That wild expanse terrible, which even ships Pass not, though form'd to cleave their way with ease, And joyful in propitious winds from Jove. No—let me never, in despight of thee, 210 Embark on board a raft, nor till thou swear, O Goddess! the inviolable oath, That future mischief thou intend'st me none. He said; Calypso, beauteous Goddess, smiled, And, while she spake, stroaking his cheek, replied. Thou dost asperse me rudely, and excuse Of ignorance hast none, far better taught; What words were these? How could'st thou thus reply? Now hear me Earth, and the wide Heav'n above! Hear, too, ye waters of the Stygian stream 220 Under the earth (by which the blessed Gods Swear trembling, and revere the awful oath!) That future mischief I intend thee none. No, my designs concerning thee are such As, in an exigence resembling thine, Myself, most sure, should for myself conceive. I have a mind more equal, not of steel My heart is form'd, but much to pity inclined. So saying, the lovely Goddess with swift pace Led on, whose footsteps he as swift pursued. 230 Within the vaulted cavern they arrived, The Goddess and the man; on the same throne Ulysses sat, whence Hermes had aris'n, And viands of all kinds, such as sustain The life of mortal man, Calypso placed Before him, both for bev'rage and for food. She opposite to the illustrious Chief Reposed, by her attendant maidens served With nectar and ambrosia. They their hands Stretch'd forth together to the ready feast, 240 And when nor hunger more nor thirst remain'd Unsated, thus the beauteous nymph began. Laertes' noble son, for wisdom famed And artifice! oh canst thou thus resolve To seek, incontinent, thy native shores? I pardon thee. Farewell! but could'st thou guess The woes which fate ordains thee to endure Ere yet thou reach thy country, well-content Here to inhabit, thou would'st keep my grot And be immortal, howsoe'er thy wife 250 Engage thy ev'ry wish day after day. Yet can I not in stature or in form Myself suspect inferior aught to her, Since competition cannot be between Mere mortal beauties, and a form divine. To whom Ulysses, ever-wise, replied. Awful Divinity! be not incensed. I know that my Penelope in form And stature altogether yields to thee, For she is mortal, and immortal thou, 260 From age exempt; yet not the less I wish My home, and languish daily to return. But should some God amid the sable Deep Dash me again into a wreck, my soul Shall bear that also; for, by practice taught, I have learned patience, having much endured By tempest and in battle both. Come then This evil also! I am well prepared. He ended, and the sun sinking, resign'd The earth to darkness. Then in a recess 270 Interior of the cavern, side by side Reposed, they took their amorous delight. But when Aurora, daughter of the dawn, Look'd rosy forth, Ulysses then in haste Put on his vest and mantle, and, the nymph Her snowy vesture of transparent woof, Graceful, redundant; to her waist she bound Her golden zone, and veil'd her beauteous head, Then, musing, plann'd the noble Chief's return. She gave him, fitted to the grasp, an ax 280 Of iron, pond'rous, double-edg'd, with haft Of olive-wood, inserted firm, and wrought With curious art. Then, placing in his hand A polish'd adze, she led, herself, the way To her isles' utmost verge, where tallest trees But dry long since and sapless stood, which best Might serve his purposes, as buoyant most, The alder, poplar, and cloud-piercing fir. To that tall grove she led and left him there, Seeking her grot again. Then slept not He, 290 But, swinging with both hands the ax, his task Soon finish'd; trees full twenty to the ground He cast, which, dext'rous, with his adze he smooth'd, The knotted surface chipping by a line. Meantime the lovely Goddess to his aid Sharp augres brought, with which he bored the beams, Then, side by side placing them, fitted each To other, and with long cramps join'd them all. Broad as an artist, skill'd in naval works, The bottom of a ship of burthen spreads, 300 Such breadth Ulysses to his raft assign'd. He deck'd her over with long planks, upborne On massy beams; He made the mast, to which He added suitable the yard;—he framed Rudder and helm to regulate her course, With wicker-work he border'd all her length For safety, and much ballast stow'd within. Meantime, Calypso brought him for a sail Fittest materials, which he also shaped, And to his sail due furniture annex'd 310 Of cordage strong, foot-ropes, and ropes aloft, Then heav'd her down with levers to the Deep. He finish'd all his work on the fourth day, And on the fifth, Calypso, nymph divine, Dismiss'd him from her isle, but laved him first, And cloath'd him in sweet-scented garments new. Two skins the Goddess also placed on board, One charg'd with crimson wine, and ampler one With water, nor a bag with food replete Forgot, nutritious, grateful to the taste, 320 Nor yet, her latest gift, a gentle gale And manageable, which Ulysses spread, Exulting, all his canvas to receive. Beside the helm he sat, steering expert, Nor sleep fell ever on his eyes that watch'd Intent the Pleiads, tardy in decline Bootes, and the Bear, call'd else the Wain, Which, in his polar prison circling, looks Direct toward Orion, and alone Of these sinks never to the briny Deep. 330 That star the lovely Goddess bade him hold Continual on his left through all his course. Ten days and sev'n, he, navigating, cleav'd The brine, and on the eighteenth day, at length, The shadowy mountains of Phaeacia's land Descried, where nearest to his course it lay Like a broad buckler on the waves afloat. But Neptune, now returning from the land Of Ethiopia, mark'd him on his raft Skimming the billows, from the mountain-tops 340 Of distant Solyma.[21] With tenfold wrath Inflamed that sight he view'd, his brows he shook, And thus within himself, indignant, spake. So then—new counsels in the skies, it seems, Propitious to Ulysses, have prevail'd Since AEthiopia hath been my abode. He sees Phaeacia nigh, where he must leap The bound'ry of his woes; but ere that hour Arrive, I will ensure him many a groan. So saying, he grasp'd his trident, gather'd dense 350 The clouds and troubled ocean; ev'ry storm From ev'ry point he summon'd, earth and sea Darkening, and the night fell black from heav'n. The East, the South, the heavy-blowing West, And the cold North-wind clear, assail'd at once His raft, and heaved on high the billowy flood. All hope, all courage, in that moment, lost, The Hero thus within himself complain'd. Wretch that I am, what destiny at last Attends me! much I fear the Goddess' words 360 All true, which threaten'd me with num'rous ills On the wide sea, ere I should reach my home. Behold them all fulfill'd! with what a storm Jove hangs the heav'ns, and agitates the Deep! The winds combined beat on me. Now I sink! Thrice blest, and more than thrice, Achaia's sons At Ilium slain for the Atridae' sake! Ah, would to heav'n that, dying, I had felt That day the stroke of fate, when me the dead Achilles guarding, with a thousand spears 370 Troy's furious host assail'd! Funereal rites I then had shared, and praise from ev'ry Greek, Whom now the most inglorious death awaits. While thus he spake, a billow on his head Bursting impetuous, whirl'd the raft around, And, dashing from his grasp the helm, himself Plunged far remote. Then came a sudden gust Of mingling winds, that in the middle snapp'd His mast, and, hurried o'er the waves afar, Both sail and sail-yard fell into the flood. 380 Long time submerged he lay, nor could with ease The violence of that dread shock surmount, Or rise to air again, so burthensome His drench'd apparel proved; but, at the last, He rose, and, rising, sputter'd from his lips The brine that trickled copious from his brows. Nor, harass'd as he was, resign'd he yet His raft, but buffetting the waves aside With desp'rate efforts, seized it, and again Fast seated on the middle deck, escaped. 390 Then roll'd the raft at random in the flood, Wallowing unwieldy, toss'd from wave to wave. As when in autumn, Boreas o'er the plain Conglomerated thorns before him drives, They, tangled, to each other close adhere, So her the winds drove wild about the Deep. By turns the South consign'd her to be sport For the rude North-wind, and, by turns, the East Yielded her to the worrying West a prey. But Cadmus' beauteous daughter (Ino once, 400 Now named Leucothea) saw him; mortal erst Was she, and trod the earth,[22] but nymph become Of Ocean since, in honours shares divine. She mark'd his anguish, and, while toss'd he roam'd, Pitied Ulysses; from the flood, in form A cormorant, she flew, and on the raft Close-corded perching, thus the Chief address'd. Alas! unhappy! how hast thou incensed So terribly the Shaker of the shores, That he pursues thee with such num'rous ills? 410 Sink thee he cannot, wish it as he may. Thus do (for I account thee not unwise) Thy garments putting off, let drive thy raft As the winds will, then, swimming, strive to reach Phaeacia, where thy doom is to escape. Take this. This ribbon bind beneath thy breast, Celestial texture. Thenceforth ev'ry fear Of death dismiss, and, laying once thy hands On the firm continent, unbind the zone, Which thou shalt cast far distant from the shore 420 Into the Deep, turning thy face away. So saying, the Goddess gave into his hand The wond'rous zone, and, cormorant in form, Plunging herself into the waves again Headlong, was hidden by the closing flood. But still Ulysses sat perplex'd, and thus The toil-enduring Hero reason'd sad. Alas! I tremble lest some God design T' ensnare me yet, bidding me quit the raft. But let me well beware how I obey 430 Too soon that precept, for I saw the land Of my foretold deliv'rance far remote. Thus, therefore, will I do, for such appears My wiser course. So long as yet the planks Mutual adhere, continuing on board My raft, I will endure whatever woes, But when the waves shall shatter it, I will swim, My sole resource then left. While thus he mused, Neptune a billow of enormous bulk Hollow'd into an overwhelming arch 440 On high up-heaving, smote him. As the wind Tempestuous, falling on some stubble-heap, The arid straws dissipates ev'ry way, So flew the timbers. He, a single beam Bestriding, oar'd it onward with his feet, As he had urged an horse. His raiment, then, Gift of Calypso, putting off, he bound His girdle on, and prone into the sea With wide-spread palms prepar'd for swimming, fell. Shore-shaker Neptune noted him; he shook 450 His awful brows, and in his heart he said, Thus, suff'ring many mis'ries roam the flood, Till thou shalt mingle with a race of men Heav'n's special favourites; yet even there Fear not that thou shalt feel thy sorrows light. He said, and scourging his bright steeds, arrived At AEgae, where his glorious palace stands. But other thoughts Minerva's mind employ'd Jove's daughter; ev'ry wind binding beside, She lull'd them, and enjoin'd them all to sleep, 460 But roused swift Boreas, and the billows broke Before Ulysses, that, deliver'd safe From a dire death, the noble Chief might mix With maritime Phaeacia's sons renown'd. Two nights he wander'd, and two days, the flood Tempestuous, death expecting ev'ry hour; But when Aurora, radiant-hair'd, had brought The third day to a close, then ceas'd the wind, And breathless came a calm; he, nigh at hand The shore beheld, darting acute his sight 470 Toward it, from a billow's tow'ring top. Precious as to his children seems the life Of some fond father through disease long time And pain stretch'd languid on his couch, the prey Of some vindictive Pow'r, but now, at last, By gracious heav'n to ease and health restored, So grateful to Ulysses' sight appear'd Forests and hills. Impatient with his feet To press the shore, he swam; but when within Such distance as a shout may fly, he came, 480 The thunder of the sea against the rocks Then smote his ear; for hoarse the billows roar'd On the firm land, belch'd horrible abroad, And the salt spray dimm'd all things to his view. For neither port for ships nor shelt'ring cove Was there, but the rude coast a headland bluff Presented, rocks and craggy masses huge. Then, hope and strength exhausted both, deep-groan'd The Chief, and in his noble heart complain'd. Alas! though Jove hath given me to behold, 490 Unhoped, the land again, and I have pass'd, Furrowing my way, these num'rous waves, there seems No egress from the hoary flood for me. Sharp stones hem in the waters; wild the surge Raves ev'ry where; and smooth the rocks arise; Deep also is the shore, on which my feet No standing gain, or chance of safe escape. What if some billow catch me from the Deep Emerging, and against the pointed rocks Dash me conflicting with its force in vain? 500 But should I, swimming, trace the coast in search Of sloping beach, haven or shelter'd creek, I fear lest, groaning, I be snatch'd again By stormy gusts into the fishy Deep, Or lest some monster of the flood receive Command to seize me, of the many such By the illustrious Amphitrite bred; For that the mighty Shaker of the shores Hates me implacable, too well I know. While such discourse within himself he held, 510 A huge wave heav'd him on the rugged coast, Where flay'd his flesh had been, and all his bones Broken together, but for the infused Good counsel of Minerva azure-eyed. With both hands suddenly he seized the rock, And, groaning, clench'd it till the billow pass'd. So baffled he that wave; but yet again The refluent flood rush'd on him, and with force Resistless dash'd him far into the sea. As pebbles to the hollow polypus 520 Extracted from his stony bed, adhere, So he, the rough rocks clasping, stripp'd his hands Raw, and the billows now whelm'd him again. Then had the hapless Hero premature Perish'd, but for sagacity inspired By Pallas azure-eyed. Forth from the waves Emerging, where the surf burst on the rocks, He coasted (looking landward as he swam) The shore, with hope of port or level beach. But when, still swimming, to the mouth he came 530 Of a smooth-sliding river, there he deem'd Safest th' ascent, for it was undeform'd By rocks, and shelter'd close from ev'ry wind. He felt the current, and thus, ardent, pray'd. O hear, whate'er thy name, Sov'reign, who rul'st This river! at whose mouth, from all the threats Of Neptune 'scap'd, with rapture I arrive. Even the Immortal Gods the wand'rer's pray'r Respect, and such am I, who reach, at length, Thy stream, and clasp thy knees, after long toil. 540 I am thy suppliant. Oh King! pity me. He said; the river God at once repress'd His current, and it ceas'd; smooth he prepared The way before Ulysses, and the land Vouchsafed him easy at his channel's mouth. There, once again he bent for ease his limbs Both arms and knees, in conflict with the floods Exhausted; swoln his body was all o'er, And from his mouth and nostrils stream'd the brine. Breathless and speechless, and of life well nigh 550 Bereft he lay, through dreadful toil immense. But when, revived, his dissipated pow'rs He recollected, loosing from beneath His breast the zone divine, he cast it far Into the brackish stream, and a huge wave Returning bore it downward to the sea, Where Ino caught it. Then, the river's brink Abandoning, among the rushes prone He lay, kiss'd oft the soil, and sighing, said, Ah me! what suff'rings must I now sustain, 560 What doom, at last, awaits me? If I watch This woeful night, here, at the river's side, What hope but that the frost and copious dews, Weak as I am, my remnant small of life Shall quite extinguish, and the chilly air Breath'd from the river at the dawn of day? But if, ascending this declivity I gain the woods, and in some thicket sleep, (If sleep indeed can find me overtoil'd And cold-benumb'd) then I have cause to fear 570 Lest I be torn by wild beasts, and devour'd. Long time he mused, but, at the last, his course Bent to the woods, which not remote he saw From the sea-brink, conspicuous on a hill. Arrived, between two neighbour shrubs he crept, Both olives, this the fruitful, that the wild; A covert, which nor rough winds blowing moist Could penetrate, nor could the noon-day sun Smite through it, or unceasing show'rs pervade, So thick a roof the ample branches form'd 580 Close interwoven; under these the Chief Retiring, with industrious hands a bed Collected broad of leaves, which there he found Abundant strew'd, such store as had sufficed Two travellers or three for cov'ring warm, Though winter's roughest blasts had rag'd the while. That bed with joy the suff'ring Chief renown'd Contemplated, and occupying soon The middle space, hillock'd it high with leaves. As when some swain hath hidden deep his torch 590 Beneath the embers, at the verge extreme Of all his farm, where, having neighbours none, He saves a seed or two of future flame Alive, doom'd else to fetch it from afar, So with dry leaves Ulysses overspread His body, on whose eyes Minerva pour'd The balm of sleep copious, that he might taste Repose again, after long toil severe.


[21] The Solymi were the ancient inhabitants of Pisidia in Asia-Minor.

[22] The Translator finding himself free to chuse between audeessa and edeessa, has preferred the latter.



Minerva designing an interview between the daughter of Alcinoues and Ulysses, admonishes her in a dream to carry down her clothes to the river, that she may wash them, and make them ready for her approaching nuptials. That task performed, the Princess and her train amuse themselves with play; by accident they awake Ulysses; he comes forth from the wood, and applies himself with much address to Nausicaa, who compassionating his distressed condition, and being much affected by the dignity of his appearance, interests himself in his favour, and conducts him to the city.

There then the noble suff'rer lay, by sleep Oppress'd and labour; meantime, Pallas sought The populous city of Phaeacia's sons. They, in old time, in Hypereia dwelt The spacious, neighbours of a giant race The haughty Cyclops, who, endued with pow'r Superior, troubled them with frequent wrongs. Godlike Nausithoues then arose, who thence To Scheria led them, from all nations versed In arts of cultivated life, remote; 10 With bulwarks strong their city he enclosed, Built houses for them, temples to the Gods, And gave to each a portion of the soil. But he, already by decree of fate Had journey'd to the shades, and in his stead Alcinoues, by the Gods instructed, reign'd. To his abode Minerva azure-eyed Repair'd, neglecting nought which might advance Magnanimous Ulysses' safe return. She sought the sumptuous chamber where, in form 20 And feature perfect as the Gods, the young Nausicaa, daughter of the King, reposed. Fast by the pillars of the portal lay Two damsels, one on either side, adorn'd By all the Graces, and the doors were shut. Soft as a breathing air, she stole toward The royal virgin's couch, and at her head Standing, address'd her. Daughter she appear'd Of Dymas, famed for maritime exploits, Her friend and her coeval; so disguised 30 Caerulean-eyed Minerva thus began. Nausicaa! wherefore hath thy mother borne A child so negligent? Thy garments share, Thy most magnificent, no thought of thine. Yet thou must marry soon, and must provide Robes for thyself, and for thy nuptial train. Thy fame, on these concerns, and honour stand; These managed well, thy parents shall rejoice. The dawn appearing, let us to the place Of washing, where thy work-mate I will be 40 For speedier riddance of thy task, since soon The days of thy virginity shall end; For thou art woo'd already by the prime Of all Phaeacia, country of thy birth. Come then—solicit at the dawn of day Thy royal father, that he send thee forth With mules and carriage for conveyance hence Of thy best robes, thy mantles and thy zones. Thus, more commodiously thou shalt perform The journey, for the cisterns lie remote. 50 So saying, Minerva, Goddess azure-eyed, Rose to Olympus, the reputed seat Eternal of the Gods, which never storms Disturb, rains drench, or snow invades, but calm The expanse and cloudless shines with purest day. There the inhabitants divine rejoice For ever, (and her admonition giv'n) Caerulean-eyed Minerva thither flew. Now came Aurora bright-enthroned, whose rays Awaken'd fair Nausicaa; she her dream 60 Remember'd wond'ring, and her parents sought Anxious to tell them. Them she found within. Beside the hearth her royal mother sat, Spinning soft fleeces with sea-purple dyed Among her menial maidens, but she met Her father, whom the Nobles of the land Had summon'd, issuing abroad to join The illustrious Chiefs in council. At his side She stood, and thus her filial suit preferr'd. Sir![23] wilt thou lend me of the royal wains 70 A sumpter-carriage? for I wish to bear My costly cloaths but sullied and unfit For use, at present, to the river side. It is but seemly that thou should'st repair Thyself to consultation with the Chiefs Of all Phaeacia, clad in pure attire; And my own brothers five, who dwell at home, Two wedded, and the rest of age to wed, Are all desirous, when they dance, to wear Raiment new bleach'd; all which is my concern. 80 So spake Nausicaa; for she dared not name Her own glad nuptials to her father's ear, Who, conscious yet of all her drift, replied. I grudge thee neither mules, my child, nor aught That thou canst ask beside. Go, and my train Shall furnish thee a sumpter-carriage forth High-built, strong-wheel'd, and of capacious size. So saying, he issued his command, whom quick His grooms obey'd. They in the court prepared The sumpter-carriage, and adjoin'd the mules. 90 And now the virgin from her chamber, charged With raiment, came, which on the car she placed, And in the carriage-chest, meantime, the Queen, Her mother, viands of all kinds disposed, And fill'd a skin with wine. Nausicaa rose Into her seat; but, ere she went, received A golden cruse of oil from the Queen's hand For unction of herself, and of her maids. Then, seizing scourge and reins, she lash'd the mules. They trampled loud the soil, straining to draw 100 Herself with all her vesture; nor alone She went, but follow'd by her virgin train. At the delightful rivulet arrived Where those perennial cisterns were prepared With purest crystal of the fountain fed Profuse, sufficient for the deepest stains, Loosing the mules, they drove them forth to browze On the sweet herb beside the dimpled flood. The carriage, next, light'ning, they bore in hand The garments down to the unsullied wave, 110 And thrust them heap'd into the pools, their task Dispatching brisk, and with an emulous haste. When they had all purified, and no spot Could now be seen, or blemish more, they spread The raiment orderly along the beach Where dashing tides had cleansed the pebbles most, And laving, next, and smoothing o'er with oil Their limbs, all seated on the river's bank, They took repast, leaving the garments, stretch'd In noon-day fervour of the sun, to dry. 120 Their hunger satisfied, at once arose The mistress and her train, and putting off Their head-attire, play'd wanton with the ball, The princess singing to her maids the while. Such as shaft-arm'd Diana roams the hills, Taeygetus sky-capt, or Erymanth, The wild boar chasing, or fleet-footed hind, All joy; the rural nymphs, daughters of Jove, Sport with her, and Latona's heart exults; She high her graceful head above the rest 130 And features lifts divine, though all be fair, With ease distinguishable from them all; So, all her train, she, virgin pure, surpass'd. But when the hour of her departure thence Approach'd (the mules now yoked again, and all Her elegant apparel folded neat) Minerva azure-eyed mused how to wake Ulysses, that he might behold the fair Virgin, his destin'd guide into the town. The Princess, then, casting the ball toward 140 A maiden of her train, erroneous threw And plunged it deep into the dimpling stream. All shrieked; Ulysses at the sound awoke, And, sitting, meditated thus the cause. Ah me! what mortal race inhabit here? Rude are they, contumacious and unjust? Or hospitable, and who fear the Gods? So shrill the cry and feminine of nymphs Fills all the air around, such as frequent The hills, clear fountains, and herbaceous meads. 150 Is this a neighbourhood of men endued With voice articulate? But what avails To ask; I will myself go forth and see. So saying, divine Ulysses from beneath His thicket crept, and from the leafy wood A spreading branch pluck'd forcibly, design'd A decent skreen effectual, held before. So forth he went, as goes the lion forth, The mountain-lion, conscious of his strength, Whom winds have vex'd and rains; fire fills his eyes, 160 And whether herds or flocks, or woodland deer He find, he rends them, and, adust for blood, Abstains not even from the guarded fold, Such sure to seem in virgin eyes, the Chief, All naked as he was, left his retreat, Reluctant, by necessity constrain'd. Him foul with sea foam horror-struck they view'd, And o'er the jutting shores fled all dispersed. Nausicaa alone fled not; for her Pallas courageous made, and from her limbs, 170 By pow'r divine, all tremour took away. Firm she expected him; he doubtful stood, Or to implore the lovely maid, her knees Embracing, or aloof standing, to ask In gentle terms discrete the gift of cloaths, And guidance to the city where she dwelt. Him so deliberating, most, at length, This counsel pleas'd; in suppliant terms aloof To sue to her, lest if he clasp'd her knees, The virgin should that bolder course resent. 180 Then gentle, thus, and well-advised he spake. Oh Queen! thy earnest suppliant I approach. Art thou some Goddess, or of mortal race? For if some Goddess, and from heaven arrived, Diana, then, daughter of mighty Jove I deem thee most, for such as hers appear Thy form, thy stature, and thy air divine. But if, of mortal race, thou dwell below, Thrice happy then, thy parents I account, And happy thrice thy brethren. Ah! the joy 190 Which always for thy sake, their bosoms fill, When thee they view, all lovely as thou art, Ent'ring majestic on the graceful dance. But him beyond all others blest I deem, The youth, who, wealthier than his rich compeers, Shall win and lead thee to his honour'd home. For never with these eyes a mortal form Beheld I comparable aught to thine, In man or woman. Wonder-wrapt I gaze. Such erst, in Delos, I beheld a palm 200 Beside the altar of Apollo, tall, And growing still; (for thither too I sail'd, And num'rous were my followers in a voyage Ordain'd my ruin) and as then I view'd That palm long time amazed, for never grew So strait a shaft, so lovely from the ground, So, Princess! thee with wonder I behold, Charm'd into fixt astonishment, by awe Alone forbidden to embrace thy knees, For I am one on whom much woe hath fall'n. 210 Yesterday I escaped (the twentieth day Of my distress by sea) the dreary Deep; For, all those days, the waves and rapid storms Bore me along, impetuous from the isle Ogygia; till at length the will of heav'n Cast me, that I might also here sustain Affliction on your shore; for rest, I think, Is not for me. No. The Immortal Gods Have much to accomplish ere that day arrive. But, oh Queen, pity me! who after long 220 Calamities endured, of all who live Thee first approach, nor mortal know beside Of the inhabitants of all the land. Shew me your city; give me, although coarse, Some cov'ring (if coarse cov'ring thou canst give) And may the Gods thy largest wishes grant, House, husband, concord! for of all the gifts Of heav'n, more precious none I deem, than peace 'Twixt wedded pair, and union undissolved; Envy torments their enemies, but joy 230 Fills ev'ry virtuous breast, and most their own. To whom Nausicaa the fair replied. Since, stranger! neither base by birth thou seem'st, Nor unintelligent, (but Jove, the King Olympian, gives to good and bad alike Prosperity according to his will, And grief to thee, which thou must patient bear,) Now, therefore, at our land and city arrived, Nor garment thou shalt want, nor aught beside Due to a suppliant guest like thee forlorn. 240 I will both show thee where our city stands, And who dwell here. Phaeacia's sons possess This land; but I am daughter of their King The brave Alcinoues, on whose sway depends For strength and wealth the whole Phaeacian race. She said, and to her beauteous maidens gave Instant commandment—My attendants, stay! Why flee ye thus, and whither, from the sight Of a mere mortal? Seems he in your eyes Some enemy of ours? The heart beats not, 250 Nor shall it beat hereafter, which shall come An enemy to the Phaeacian shores, So dear to the immortal Gods are we. Remote, amid the billowy Deep, we hold Our dwelling, utmost of all human-kind, And free from mixture with a foreign race. This man, a miserable wand'rer comes, Whom we are bound to cherish, for the poor And stranger are from Jove, and trivial gifts To such are welcome. Bring ye therefore food 260 And wine, my maidens, for the guest's regale, And lave him where the stream is shelter'd most. She spake; they stood, and by each other's words Encouraged, placed Ulysses where the bank O'erhung the stream, as fair Nausicaa bade, Daughter of King Alcinoues the renown'd. Apparel also at his side they spread, Mantle and vest, and, next, the limpid oil Presenting to him in the golden cruse, Exhorted him to bathe in the clear stream. 270 Ulysses then the maidens thus bespake. Ye maidens, stand apart, that I may cleanse, Myself, my shoulders from the briny surf, And give them oil which they have wanted long. But in your presence I bathe not, ashamed To show myself uncloath'd to female eyes. He said; they went, and to Nausicaa told His answer; then the Hero in the stream His shoulders laved, and loins incrusted rough With the salt spray, and with his hands the scum 280 Of the wild ocean from his locks express'd. Thus wash'd all over, and refresh'd with oil, He put the garments on, Nausicaa's gift. Then Pallas, progeny of Jove, his form Dilated more, and from his head diffused His curling locks like hyacinthine flowers. As when some artist, by Minerva made And Vulcan wise to execute all tasks Ingenious, binding with a golden verge Bright silver, finishes a graceful work, 290 Such grace the Goddess o'er his ample chest Copious diffused, and o'er his manly brows. Retiring, on the beach he sat, with grace And dignity illumed, where, viewing him, The virgin Princess, with amazement mark'd His beauty, and her damsels thus bespake. My white-arm'd maidens, listen to my voice! Not hated, sure, by all above, this man Among Phaeacia's godlike sons arrives. At first I deem'd him of plebeian sort 300 Dishonourable, but he now assumes A near resemblance to the Gods above. Ah! would to heaven it were my lot to call Husband, some native of our land like him Accomplish'd, and content to inhabit here! Give him, my maidens, food, and give him wine. She ended; they obedient to her will, Both wine and food, dispatchful, placed, and glad, Before Ulysses; he rapacious ate, Toil-suff'ring Chief, and drank, for he had lived 310 From taste of aliment long time estranged. On other thoughts meantime intent, her charge Of folded vestments neat the Princess placed Within the royal wain, then yoked the mules, And to her seat herself ascending, call'd Ulysses to depart, and thus she spake. Up, stranger! seek the city. I will lead Thy steps toward my royal Father's house, Where all Phaeacia's Nobles thou shalt see. But thou (for I account thee not unwise) 320 This course pursue. While through the fields we pass, And labours of the rural hind, so long With my attendants follow fast the mules And sumpter-carriage. I will be thy guide. But, once the summit gain'd, on which is built Our city with proud bulwarks fenced around, And laved on both sides by its pleasant port Of narrow entrance, where our gallant barks Line all the road, each station'd in her place, And where, adjoining close the splendid fane 330 Of Neptune, stands the forum with huge stones From quarries thither drawn, constructed strong, In which the rigging of their barks they keep, Sail-cloth and cordage, and make smooth their oars; (For bow and quiver the Phaeacian race Heed not, but masts and oars, and ships well-poised, With which exulting they divide the flood) Then, cautious, I would shun their bitter taunts Disgustful, lest they mock me as I pass; For of the meaner people some are coarse 340 In the extreme, and it may chance that one, The basest there seeing us shall exclaim— What handsome stranger of athletic form Attends the Princess? Where had she the chance To find him? We shall see them wedded soon. Either she hath received some vagrant guest From distant lands, (for no land neighbours ours) Or by her pray'rs incessant won, some God Hath left the heav'ns to be for ever hers. 'Tis well if she have found, by her own search, 350 An husband for herself, since she accounts The Nobles of Phaeacia, who her hand Solicit num'rous, worthy to be scorn'd— Thus will they speak, injurious. I should blame A virgin guilty of such conduct much, Myself, who reckless of her parents' will, Should so familiar with a man consort, Ere celebration of her spousal rites. But mark me, stranger! following my advice, Thou shalt the sooner at my father's hands 360 Obtain safe conduct and conveyance home. Sacred to Pallas a delightful grove Of poplars skirts the road, which we shall reach Ere long; within that grove a fountain flows, And meads encircle it; my father's farm Is there, and his luxuriant garden plot; A shout might reach it from the city-walls. There wait, till in the town arrived, we gain My father's palace, and when reason bids Suppose us there, then ent'ring thou the town, 370 Ask where Alcinoues dwells, my valiant Sire. Well known is his abode, so that with ease A child might lead thee to it, for in nought The other houses of our land the house Resemble, in which dwells the Hero, King Alcinoues. Once within the court received Pause not, but, with swift pace advancing, seek My mother; she beside a column sits In the hearth's blaze, twirling her fleecy threads Tinged with sea-purple, bright, magnificent! 380 With all her maidens orderly behind. There also stands my father's throne, on which Seated, he drinks and banquets like a God. Pass that; then suppliant clasp my mother's knees, So shalt thou quickly win a glad return To thy own home, however far remote. Her favour, once, and her kind aid secured, Thenceforth thou may'st expect thy friends to see, Thy dwelling, and thy native soil again. So saying, she with her splendid scourge the mules 390 Lash'd onward. They (the stream soon left behind) With even footsteps graceful smote the ground; But so she ruled them, managing with art The scourge, as not to leave afar, although Following on foot, Ulysses and her train. The sun had now declined, when in that grove Renown'd, to Pallas sacred, they arrived, In which Ulysses sat, and fervent thus Sued to the daughter of Jove AEgis-arm'd. Daughter invincible of Jove supreme! 400 Oh, hear me! Hear me now, because when erst The mighty Shaker of the shores incensed Toss'd me from wave to wave, thou heard'st me not. Grant me, among Phaeacia's sons, to find Benevolence and pity of my woes! He spake, whose pray'r well-pleas'd the Goddess heard, But, rev'rencing the brother of her sire,[24] Appear'd not to Ulysses yet, whom he Pursued with fury to his native shores.


[23] In the Original, she calls him, pappa! a more natural stile of address and more endearing. But ancient as this appellative is, it is also so familiar in modern use, that the Translator feared to hazard it.

[24] Neptune.



Nausicaa returns from the river, whom Ulysses follows. He halts, by her direction, at a small distance from the palace, which at a convenient time he enters. He is well received by Alcinoues and his Queen; and having related to them the manner of his being cast on the shore of Scheria, and received from Alcinoues the promise of safe conduct home, retires to rest.

Such pray'r Ulysses, toil-worn Chief renown'd, To Pallas made, meantime the virgin, drawn By her stout mules, Phaeacia's city reach'd, And, at her father's house arrived, the car Stay'd in the vestibule; her brothers five, All godlike youths, assembling quick around, Released the mules, and bore the raiment in. Meantime, to her own chamber she return'd, Where, soon as she arrived, an antient dame Eurymedusa, by peculiar charge 10 Attendant on that service, kindled fire. Sea-rovers her had from Epirus brought Long since, and to Alcinoues she had fall'n By public gift, for that he ruled, supreme, Phaeacia, and as oft as he harangued The multitude, was rev'renced as a God. She waited on the fair Nausicaa, she Her fuel kindled, and her food prepared. And now Ulysses from his seat arose To seek the city, around whom, his guard 20 Benevolent, Minerva, cast a cloud, Lest, haply, some Phaeacian should presume T' insult the Chief, and question whence he came. But ere he enter'd yet the pleasant town, Minerva azure-eyed met him, in form A blooming maid, bearing her pitcher forth. She stood before him, and the noble Chief Ulysses, of the Goddess thus enquired. Daughter! wilt thou direct me to the house Of brave Alcinoues, whom this land obeys? 30 For I have here arrived, after long toil, And from a country far remote, a guest To all who in Phaeacia dwell, unknown. To whom the Goddess of the azure-eyes. The mansion of thy search, stranger revered! Myself will shew thee; for not distant dwells Alcinoues from my father's own abode: But hush! be silent—I will lead the way; Mark no man; question no man; for the sight Of strangers is unusual here, and cold 40 The welcome by this people shown to such. They, trusting in swift ships, by the free grant Of Neptune traverse his wide waters, borne As if on wings, or with the speed of thought. So spake the Goddess, and with nimble pace Led on, whose footsteps he, as quick, pursued. But still the seaman-throng through whom he pass'd Perceiv'd him not; Minerva, Goddess dread, That sight forbidding them, whose eyes she dimm'd With darkness shed miraculous around 50 Her fav'rite Chief. Ulysses, wond'ring, mark'd Their port, their ships, their forum, the resort Of Heroes, and their battlements sublime Fenced with sharp stakes around, a glorious show! But when the King's august abode he reach'd, Minerva azure-eyed, then, thus began. My father! thou behold'st the house to which Thou bad'st me lead thee. Thou shalt find our Chiefs And high-born Princes banqueting within. But enter fearing nought, for boldest men 60 Speed ever best, come whencesoe'er they may. First thou shalt find the Queen, known by her name Areta; lineal in descent from those Who gave Alcinoues birth, her royal spouse. Neptune begat Nausithoues, at the first, On Peribaea, loveliest of her sex, Latest-born daughter of Eurymedon, Heroic King of the proud giant race, Who, losing all his impious people, shared The same dread fate himself. Her Neptune lov'd, 70 To whom she bore a son, the mighty prince Nausithoues, in his day King of the land. Nausithoues himself two sons begat, Rhexenor and Alcinoues. Phoebus slew Rhexenor at his home, a bridegroom yet, Who, father of no son, one daughter left, Areta, wedded to Alcinoues now, And whom the Sov'reign in such honour holds, As woman none enjoys of all on earth Existing, subjects of an husband's pow'r. 80 Like veneration she from all receives Unfeign'd, from her own children, from himself Alcinoues, and from all Phaeacia's race, Who, gazing on her as she were divine, Shout when she moves in progress through the town. For she no wisdom wants, but sits, herself, Arbitress of such contests as arise Between her fav'rites, and decides aright. Her count'nance once and her kind aid secured, Thou may'st thenceforth expect thy friends to see, 90 Thy dwelling, and thy native soil again. So Pallas spake, Goddess caerulean-eyed, And o'er the untillable and barren Deep Departing, Scheria left, land of delight, Whence reaching Marathon, and Athens next, She pass'd into Erectheus' fair abode. Ulysses, then, toward the palace moved Of King Alcinoues, but immers'd in thought Stood, first, and paused, ere with his foot he press'd The brazen threshold; for a light he saw 100 As of the sun or moon illuming clear The palace of Phaeacia's mighty King. Walls plated bright with brass, on either side Stretch'd from the portal to th' interior house, With azure cornice crown'd; the doors were gold Which shut the palace fast; silver the posts Rear'd on a brazen threshold, and above, The lintels, silver, architraved with gold. Mastiffs, in gold and silver, lined the approach On either side, by art celestial framed 110 Of Vulcan, guardians of Alcinoues' gate For ever, unobnoxious to decay. Sheer from the threshold to the inner house Fixt thrones the walls, through all their length, adorn'd, With mantles overspread of subtlest warp Transparent, work of many a female hand. On these the princes of Phaeacia sat, Holding perpetual feasts, while golden youths On all the sumptuous altars stood, their hands With burning torches charged, which, night by night, 120 Shed radiance over all the festive throng. Full fifty female menials serv'd the King In household offices; the rapid mills These turning, pulverize the mellow'd grain, Those, seated orderly, the purple fleece Wind off, or ply the loom, restless as leaves Of lofty poplars fluttering in the breeze; Bright as with oil the new-wrought texture shone.[25] Far as Phaeacian mariners all else Surpass, the swift ship urging through the floods, 130 So far in tissue-work the women pass All others, by Minerva's self endow'd With richest fancy and superior skill. Without the court, and to the gates adjoin'd A spacious garden lay, fenced all around Secure, four acres measuring complete. There grew luxuriant many a lofty tree, Pomegranate, pear, the apple blushing bright, The honied fig, and unctuous olive smooth. Those fruits, nor winter's cold nor summer's heat 140 Fear ever, fail not, wither not, but hang Perennial, whose unceasing zephyr breathes Gently on all, enlarging these, and those Maturing genial; in an endless course Pears after pears to full dimensions swell, Figs follow figs, grapes clust'ring grow again Where clusters grew, and (ev'ry apple stript) The boughs soon tempt the gath'rer as before. There too, well-rooted, and of fruit profuse, His vineyard grows; part, wide-extended, basks, 150 In the sun's beams; the arid level glows; In part they gather, and in part they tread The wine-press, while, before the eye, the grapes Here put their blossom forth, there, gather fast Their blackness. On the garden's verge extreme Flow'rs of all hues smile all the year, arranged With neatest art judicious, and amid The lovely scene two fountains welling forth, One visits, into ev'ry part diffus'd, The garden-ground, the other soft beneath 160 The threshold steals into the palace-court, Whence ev'ry citizen his vase supplies. Such were the ample blessings on the house Of King Alcinoues by the Gods bestow'd. Ulysses wond'ring stood, and when, at length, Silent he had the whole fair scene admired, With rapid step enter'd the royal gate. The Chiefs he found and Senators within Libation pouring to the vigilant spy Mercurius, whom with wine they worshipp'd last 170 Of all the Gods, and at the hour of rest. Ulysses, toil-worn Hero, through the house Pass'd undelaying, by Minerva thick With darkness circumfus'd, till he arrived Where King Alcinoues and Areta sat. Around Areta's knees his arms he cast, And, in that moment, broken clear away The cloud all went, shed on him from above. Dumb sat the guests, seeing the unknown Chief, And wond'ring gazed. He thus his suit preferr'd. 180 Areta, daughter of the Godlike Prince Rhexenor! suppliant at thy knees I fall, Thy royal spouse imploring, and thyself, (After ten thousand toils) and these your guests, To whom heav'n grant felicity, and to leave Their treasures to their babes, with all the rights And honours, by the people's suffrage, theirs! But oh vouchsafe me, who have wanted long And ardent wish'd my home, without delay Safe conduct to my native shores again! 190 Such suit he made, and in the ashes sat At the hearth-side; they mute long time remain'd, Till, at the last, the antient Hero spake Echeneus, eldest of Phaeacia's sons, With eloquence beyond the rest endow'd, Rich in traditionary lore, and wise In all, who thus, benevolent, began. Not honourable to thyself, O King! Is such a sight, a stranger on the ground At the hearth-side seated, and in the dust. 200 Meantime, thy guests, expecting thy command, Move not; thou therefore raising by his hand The stranger, lead him to a throne, and bid The heralds mingle wine, that we may pour To thunder-bearing Jove, the suppliant's friend. Then let the cat'ress for thy guest produce Supply, a supper from the last regale. Soon as those words Alcinoues heard, the King, Upraising by his hand the prudent Chief Ulysses from the hearth, he made him sit, 210 On a bright throne, displacing for his sake Laodamas his son, the virtuous youth Who sat beside him, and whom most he lov'd. And now, a maiden charg'd with golden ew'r And with an argent laver, pouring, first, Pure water on his hands, supply'd him, next, With a resplendent table, which the chaste Directress of the stores furnish'd with bread And dainties, remnants of the last regale. Then ate the Hero toil-inured, and drank, 220 And to his herald thus Alcinoues spake. Pontonoues! mingling wine, bear it around To ev'ry guest in turn, that we may pour To thunder-bearer Jove, the stranger's friend, And guardian of the suppliant's sacred rights. He said; Pontonoues, as he bade, the wine Mingled delicious, and the cups dispensed With distribution regular to all. When each had made libation, and had drunk Sufficient, then, Alcinoues thus began. 230 Phaeacian Chiefs and Senators, I speak The dictates of my mind, therefore attend! Ye all have feasted—To your homes and sleep. We will assemble at the dawn of day More senior Chiefs, that we may entertain The stranger here, and to the Gods perform Due sacrifice; the convoy that he asks Shall next engage our thoughts, that free from pain And from vexation, by our friendly aid He may revisit, joyful and with speed, 240 His native shore, however far remote. No inconvenience let him feel or harm, Ere his arrival; but, arrived, thenceforth He must endure whatever lot the Fates Spun for him in the moment of his birth. But should he prove some Deity from heav'n Descended, then the Immortals have in view Designs not yet apparent; for the Gods Have ever from of old reveal'd themselves At our solemnities, have on our seats 250 Sat with us evident, and shared the feast; And even if a single traveller Of the Phaeacians meet them, all reserve They lay aside; for with the Gods we boast As near affinity as do themselves The Cyclops, or the Giant race profane.[26] To whom Ulysses, ever-wise, replied. Alcinoues! think not so. Resemblance none In figure or in lineaments I bear To the immortal tenants of the skies, 260 But to the sons of earth; if ye have known A man afflicted with a weight of woe Peculiar, let me be with him compared; Woes even passing his could I relate, And all inflicted on me by the Gods. But let me eat, comfortless as I am, Uninterrupted; for no call is loud As that of hunger in the ears of man; Importunate, unreas'nable, it constrains His notice, more than all his woes beside. 270 So, I much sorrow feel, yet not the less Hear I the blatant appetite demand Due sustenance, and with a voice that drowns E'en all my suff'rings, till itself be fill'd. But expedite ye at the dawn of day My safe return into my native land, After much mis'ry; and let life itself Forsake me, may I but once more behold All that is mine, in my own lofty abode. He spake, whom all applauded, and advised, 280 Unanimous, the guest's conveyance home, Who had so fitly spoken. When, at length, All had libation made, and were sufficed, Departing to his house, each sought repose. But still Ulysses in the hall remain'd, Where, godlike King, Alcinoues at his side Sat, and Areta; the attendants clear'd Meantime the board, and thus the Queen white-arm'd, (Marking the vest and mantle, which he wore And which her maidens and herself had made) 290 In accents wing'd with eager haste began. Stranger! the first enquiry shall be mine; Who art, and whence? From whom receiv'dst thou these? Saidst not—I came a wand'rer o'er the Deep? To whom Ulysses, ever-wise, replied. Oh Queen! the task were difficult to unfold In all its length the story of my woes, For I have num'rous from the Gods receiv'd; But I will answer thee as best I may. There is a certain isle, Ogygia, placed 300 Far distant in the Deep; there dwells, by man Alike unvisited, and by the Gods, Calypso, beauteous nymph, but deeply skill'd In artifice, and terrible in pow'r, Daughter of Atlas. Me alone my fate Her miserable inmate made, when Jove Had riv'n asunder with his candent bolt My bark in the mid-sea. There perish'd all The valiant partners of my toils, and I My vessel's keel embracing day and night 310 With folded arms, nine days was borne along. But on the tenth dark night, as pleas'd the Gods, They drove me to Ogygia, where resides Calypso, beauteous nymph, dreadful in pow'r; She rescued, cherish'd, fed me, and her wish Was to confer on me immortal life, Exempt for ever from the sap of age. But me her offer'd boon sway'd not. Sev'n years I there abode continual, with my tears Bedewing ceaseless my ambrosial robes, 320 Calypso's gift divine; but when, at length, (Sev'n years elaps'd) the circling eighth arrived, She then, herself, my quick departure thence Advised, by Jove's own mandate overaw'd, Which even her had influenced to a change. On a well-corded raft she sent me forth With num'rous presents; bread she put and wine On board, and cloath'd me in immortal robes; She sent before me also a fair wind Fresh-blowing, but not dang'rous. Sev'nteen days 330 I sail'd the flood continual, and descried, On the eighteenth, your shadowy mountains tall When my exulting heart sprang at the sight, All wretched as I was, and still ordain'd To strive with difficulties many and hard From adverse Neptune; he the stormy winds Exciting opposite, my wat'ry way Impeded, and the waves heav'd to a bulk Immeasurable, such as robb'd me soon Deep-groaning, of the raft, my only hope; 340 For her the tempest scatter'd, and myself This ocean measur'd swimming, till the winds And mighty waters cast me on your shore. Me there emerging, the huge waves had dash'd Full on the land, where, incommodious most, The shore presented only roughest rocks, But, leaving it, I swam the Deep again, Till now, at last, a river's gentle stream Receiv'd me, by no rocks deform'd, and where No violent winds the shelter'd bank annoy'd. 350 I flung myself on shore, exhausted, weak, Needing repose; ambrosial night came on, When from the Jove-descended stream withdrawn, I in a thicket lay'd me down on leaves Which I had heap'd together, and the Gods O'erwhelm'd my eye-lids with a flood of sleep. There under wither'd leaves, forlorn, I slept All the long night, the morning and the noon, But balmy sleep, at the decline of day, Broke from me; then, your daughter's train I heard 360 Sporting, with whom she also sported, fair And graceful as the Gods. To her I kneel'd. She, following the dictates of a mind Ingenuous, pass'd in her behaviour all Which even ye could from an age like hers Have hoped; for youth is ever indiscrete. She gave me plenteous food, with richest wine Refresh'd my spirit, taught me where to bathe, And cloath'd me as thou seest; thus, though a prey To many sorrows, I have told thee truth. 370 To whom Alcinoues answer thus return'd. My daughter's conduct, I perceive, hath been In this erroneous, that she led thee not Hither, at once, with her attendant train, For thy first suit was to herself alone. Thus then Ulysses, wary Chief, replied. Blame not, O Hero, for so slight a cause Thy faultless child; she bade me follow them, But I refused, by fear and awe restrain'd, Lest thou should'st feel displeasure at that sight 380 Thyself; for we are all, in ev'ry clime, Suspicious, and to worst constructions prone. So spake Ulysses, to whom thus the King. I bear not, stranger! in my breast an heart Causeless irascible; for at all times A temp'rate equanimity is best. And oh, I would to heav'n, that, being such As now thou art, and of one mind with me, Thou would'st accept my daughter, would'st become My son-in-law, and dwell contented here! 390 House would I give thee, and possessions too, Were such thy choice; else, if thou chuse it not, No man in all Phaeacia shall by force Detain thee. Jupiter himself forbid! For proof, I will appoint thee convoy hence To-morrow; and while thou by sleep subdued Shalt on thy bed repose, they with their oars Shall brush the placid flood, till thou arrive At home, or at what place soe'er thou would'st, Though far more distant than Euboea lies, 400 Remotest isle from us, by the report Of ours, who saw it when they thither bore Golden-hair'd Rhadamanthus o'er the Deep, To visit earth-born Tityus. To that isle They went; they reach'd it, and they brought him thence Back to Phaeacia, in one day, with ease. Thou also shalt be taught what ships I boast Unmatch'd in swiftness, and how far my crews Excel, upturning with their oars the brine. He ceas'd; Ulysses toil-inur'd his words 410 Exulting heard, and, praying, thus replied. Eternal Father! may the King perform His whole kind promise! grant him in all lands A never-dying name, and grant to me To visit safe my native shores again! Thus they conferr'd; and now Areta bade Her fair attendants dress a fleecy couch Under the portico, with purple rugs Resplendent, and with arras spread beneath, And over all with cloaks of shaggy pile. 420 Forth went the maidens, bearing each a torch, And, as she bade, prepared in haste a couch Of depth commodious, then, returning, gave Ulysses welcome summons to repose. Stranger! thy couch is spread. Hence to thy rest. So they—Thrice grateful to his soul the thought Seem'd of repose. There slept Ulysses, then, On his carv'd couch, beneath the portico, But in the inner-house Alcinoues found His place of rest, and hers with royal state 430 Prepared, the Queen his consort, at his side.

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